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The God Squad: Yes! More signs from the other side

Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Content Agency on

I feel like Michael Corleone. I am trying to get out of the signs from dead people game, but then I get letters like this that pull me back in:

Back in the 1970's, J, who was a close Jewish family friend of my wife's, passed away. We got married in 1977 and had our first Christmas together that year. For a Christmas present, I found a book "Yiddish Folklore". I thought my wife would like the book as a memorial to J. In November of 1980, we had our first child. Around Christmastime, as we were going to sleep, I noticed my wife was a little sad. When I asked what was wrong she told me, "I wish J had lived long enough to meet our son." At that point, a book flew off the bookshelf, hit our bed and landed on the floor. I went to pick it up and discovered that the book that had flown 3 feet through the air, (I measured it the next morning), was the book "Yiddish Folklore". I picked the book up and showed it to her and told her, "What makes you think J HASN'T seen our son?"

A similar event, again involving my wife, involved an heirloom rocking chair. We had brought it up from St. Louis and I re-finished it. One calm night, my wife walked out of the bedroom and saw the rocking chair rocking all by itself. She was a little unnerved to say the least. I told her it was probably her great-great-grandmother (for whom the chair had been made) who was just checking it out to make sure it still worked. She was letting us know she approved. I have also received visits from her older sister when she died, and when my wife's father died. In both cases, they were in front of me plain as day. In fact, my father-in-law shook my hand as he said goodbye, and I could feel the warmth of his grip. He left a message for me to give to his wife and children. I wrote it all down before it could fade from memory. I made copies and gave each of them a copy of the message.

Why I never received word from my family I do not know. I suspect because I know they are around and don't need the message. But I am not sure why my wife's family should contact them through me, maybe because I am receptive? Anyway, I enjoy your column, and I really liked the stories of people who have been contacted by deceased loved ones. I felt that I should write and let you know about J and the book. There is no way a book, tightly held in place by other books, could fly through the air 3 feet and hit our bed, without some exterior force being involved. – G and M

MG: Do you have mice?

To quote you, “I am not sure” what to say. What I can say now after hundreds of letters is that signs from the other side fall into various types:

– warm, invisible presence. No words, no special effects. Just a warm feeling of presence and love.

– words plus the warm invisible presence. Usually, the words are a simple message, “I am OK.” I like these messages the best because they are clear and comforting and not spooky (if you can ignore the fact that the message is coming from a dead guy).

 

– words plus an appearance of a ghost. Dead people, according to my research, seem always to be translucent. Not completely clear but clear enough to recognize their features. I would like to simply discount the truth of ghosts because of all the possibilities of concocting such images to trick people or sell TV shows, but I cannot. The evidence of ghost sightings from non-drunk people convinces me that we are not alone and that our dearly departed occasionally find a way to remind us of that spooky fact … not just on Halloween.

– no words but special effects that do not violate the laws of nature. Butterflies that land on a casket; cardinals that land close by; favorite songs that suddenly are being played on your favorite music station; someone wearing the same cologne, etc.

– no words but special effects that are just crazy. This is what you got in full measure, dear G and M, with your flying Yiddish book and your rocker-less rocking chair. Of course, these are the hardest to believe because they contradict the laws of nature (specifically gravity) and even Einstein could not find such a source of energy.

Keep your signs coming. They keep me up at night.

(Send ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad via email at godsquadquestion@aol.com. Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including “Religion for Dummies,” co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman. Also, the new God Squad podcast is now available.)

©2022 The God Squad. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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